The 100 best romantic movies

Experts including Tom Hiddleston, Joan Collins and EL James vote for the best films about love and romance

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‘When done right, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, better in the cinema.’ That’s Tom Hiddleston talking about romantic movies. And he has a point, doesn’t he? The best romantic films have given cinema some of its most unforgettable films and heartstopping moments.

We’ve brought together 101 experts to choose the 100 best romantic movies ever made. These are people who know romance: ‘The Notebook’ writer Nicholas Sparks, ‘Notting Hill’ director Richard Curtis and not forgetting a diva who has devoted a lifetime to seducing a shy frog, Miss Piggy.

There is something here for all lovers. Smash-hit chick flicks. Romcom faves. Forbidden love. Epic tales of lovers washed away by the tide of history. 1980s teen classics that you still see through 15-year-old eyes. Heartbreaking films that we defy you to watch without sobbing.

You can also explore our experts’ personal top-ten romantic movies. You might have guessed that Richard Curtis would vote for ‘Annie Hall’. But ‘This Is Spinal Tap’? And you’ve got to love Tom Hiddleston for admitting to having a soft spot for ‘Dirty Dancing’.

Please tell us what you think of our list of the most romantic movies ever. Do we need our heads examined for leaving off ‘Runaway Bride’? Speak to us on Facebook or on Twitter using #romanticfilms, or leave a comment below.

By Catherine Bray, Dave Calhoun, Cath Clarke, Tom Huddleston, Trevor Johnston and Guy Lodge



Users say

16 comments
dawn s
dawn s

sound of music?  Thats a classic romance.  These lists are always controversial because its impossible to limit the best of thousands of movies to a small list.  There are numerous reasons certain movies should be on or off these kinds of list based on all kinds of criteria.  

Camille
Camille

Just an addendum... this list is pretty much amazing. Only a few films that I believe should have been mentioned. First and foremost, Out of Africa. It's a fantastic and meaningful movie. Beautifully romantic. Wonderfully acted by Meryl Streep and hunky Robert Redford. The others are a bit more mainstream, but I believe they should have deserved a spot. First, the 2012 version of Jane Eyre. Mostly due to excellent acting. Also deliciously romantic. And actually a thoroughly good movie. Pride and Prejudice (2005), I think, deserves a spot because it almost matches The Notebook in how much it has affected young people. It was well-reviewed, and the cast was excellent, not only because of Keira Knightley (in the very beginning of her career) but also because of the excellent supporting cast. Garden State, as well, is an excellent film, as well as an excellent romance, coming out of the indie film world. Natalie Portman and Zac Braff both do an excellent job. Definitely one of my favorites, along with The Graduate and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, both of which rightfully appear on this list. Lastly, I have to say that Love Actually should certainly have been included. It's very cheesy, certainly, but it's become such a staple in both the romantic comedy world and the Christmas movie world. It was also one of the, if not THE, first romantic film to host various interlocking stories. And the CAST. I can't even. Besides these few that I feel could have been included, I think this list does a great job. Especially appreciate that it gives equal wait to classic films like The Apartment and recent films like The Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom. Cheers!

Delia Cazzato
Delia Cazzato

My favourite Romantic Movie is Roman Holiday. Love Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck so charming and stylish and the romance of being in Rome oooh it's what dreams are made of. The Mouth of Truth so funny and i have seen this in Rome and stuck my hand in and laughed. Good old Romance the thrill of the chase and the comedy between the 2 actors it's enchanting to watch.

eduardo
eduardo

"Experts including EL James" this is a joke, isn't?

Arlene_H
Arlene_H

Waterloo Bridge (1940) "Les parapluies de Cherbourg" The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) The Red Shoes (1948) Brief Encounter (1946) Casablanca (1942) "Les enfants du paradis" (1945) Children of Paradise "Le notti di Cabiria" (1957) Nights of Cabiria "L'histoire d'Adèle H." (1975) The Story of Adele H. My Man Godfrey (1936) Roman Holiday (1953)

Daniele Turi
Daniele Turi

Great stuff, but what about what about Susanne Bier's "Open Hearts"?

Susan R
Susan R

If you are looking for an excellent movie that combines terrific actors, beautiful scenery and a wonderful story, look for "Somewhere In Time." Handsome Christopher Reed and beautiful Jane Seymour......a mystery, a great love and an amazing ending......couldn't ask for more. "Somewhere In Time" should be in the top 10 of Best Romance Movies.

HelenS
HelenS

I love there are a whopping *6* Cary Grant films on the list!

Johnny Joannou
Johnny Joannou

At the start of the year, I designed a periodic-table art print showing my top romantic films! I think 87 of Time Out's choices are included. http://bit.ly/11OcBsG pic.twitter.com/3SGrDb4n

gigi
gigi

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a romantic movie?! so, every movie with a hint of romance in it is a romantic movie. Shakespeare in Love maybe stole an Oscar but it was definitely robbed here.

dawn s
dawn s

@Camille Excellent and very insightful comments.  I agree 100%


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